Sebastian Vettel gave Red Bull their first pole position at Monza and continued their domination of qualifying in 2011.
The two McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button start behind him, while Fernando Alonso claimed fourth for Ferrari.
Mark Webber and Felipe Massa share the third row.
Pastor Maldonado had a setback early in qualifying when he spun at the exit of Parabolica. He lost control of the car as he opened his DRS and the Williams knocked the barrier at the inside of the corner, damaging its front wing.
The team inspected the damage, replaced the wing and sent Maldonado out again. He duly made it through into Q2.
His team mate briefly looked as though he wasn’t going to make it through to the next part of qualifying. But a late improvement from Rubens Barrichello meant it was Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso who failed to progress beyond Q1.
The usual six cars were behind him, with Daniel Ricciardo out-qualifying Vitantonio Liuzzi despite having missed much of second and third practice.
Timo Glock, meanwhile, had a dramatic moment when his DRS did not close properly. He avoided a crassh and was inspecting his rear wing in the pits after the session ended.
Drivers eliminated in Q1
|18||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’25.334|
As the session began McLaren told Hamilton he would need to do a 1’23.8 to get a place in Q2.
He managed a 1’23.740 on medium tyres while the other front runners did their times on softs. But despite having beaten the target time he felt he couldn’t risk setting a quicker lap on soft tyres.
He duly set a 1’23.172 on softs to take third behind Vettel and Button. But Vitaly Petrov, who had been one-thousandth of a second slower than Hamilton, did not go out again and secured his passage to Q3.
Team mate Bruno Senna joined him with his final lap of the session. A 1’24.157, aided by a tow from Hamilton, put him tenth and knocked out Paul di Resta.
Di Resta joined his team mate plus both Williams and Sauber drivers and Sebastien Buemi in elimination.
Drivers eliminated in Q2
|11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’24.183|
|12||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’24.209|
|16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’24.932|
The Ferraris led the cars out at the start of Q3 and Fernando Alonso briefly headed the times.
But within a few moments he was demoted first by Button and then Vettel. Vettel went straight into a second lap where he looked set to go faster, before a ragged moment at the exit of Lesmo 2 and a dramatic slide through Ascari.
Alonso made it up to fourth with his last effort, using a tow from his team mate to pick up speed in the first sector.
Neither McLaren driver improved their times with their final run, Hamilton losing time at the della Roggia and aborting his run, Button quitting into the pits at the end of his lap.
With Webber, whose KERS was only working intermittently, unable to better fifth place there was no need for Vettel to improve his time. But he did anyway: a flying lap of 1’22.275 put him almost half a second clear of Hamilton.
Michael Schumacher out-qualified Nico Rosberg, the latter choosing to qualify on medium tyres. Bruno Senna, meanwhile, did not set a time.
Top ten in Q3
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’22.275|
|5||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’22.972|
2011 Italian Grand Prix
- Sebastian Vettel named Driver of the Weekend for Monza
- Rate the race result: 2011 Italian Grand Prix
- FIA steward Daly says Schumacher should have had penalty
- 2011 Italian Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Italian GP driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel poised to clinch second title
- McLaren: Button leads Hamilton home again
- Ferrari: Alonso admits “the title is gone”
- Mercedes: Schumacher fifth after Hamilton battle
- Renault: Senna claims first points finish
Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images